Wildlife pho­tog­ra­pher Hannes Lochner spent three years in the Oka­vango Delta, camped un­der a sausage tree in Moremi. These dreamy pho­tos are the re­sult.

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Af­ter work­ing for five long years in the Kala­hari, vet­eran wildlife pho­tog­ra­pher Hannes Lochner des­per­ately wanted to be sur­rounded by wa­ter. So he packed his bags and set up camp un­der a sausage tree in the Oka­vango Delta. He shared his camp in Moremi Game Re­serve with his part­ner Noa Köfler and a swarm of wild bees. Dan­ger lurked at ev­ery turn – even the 8 kg fruit of the sausage tree caused havoc. Hannes would wake up to find the side mir­rors of his Land Rover smashed to bits, big dents in the bon­net and even holes in his tent. One night he climbed out of that tent and nearly stepped on a fe­male leop­ard, and the same three hye­nas would join him and Noa ev­ery evening around the camp­fire. Cut off from the world ex­cept for a satel­lite phone for emer­gen­cies, Hannes spent three years study­ing the mirac­u­lous land­scape and its abun­dant wildlife. The re­sult is a stun­ning new book called Planet Oka­vango – a dreamy cel­e­bra­tion of the delta and its in­hab­i­tants. Have a look at the pho­tos fea­tured here: Wildlife pho­tog­ra­phy need not be pin sharp to con­vey a mood. Take a leaf out of Hannes’s book, learn to be more pa­tient and never stop ex­per­i­ment­ing.

Squir­rel hunter

Catch­ing a squir­rel can be tricky in the dense bush of the Oka­vango Delta, but that’s ex­actly what this leop­ard was try­ing to do. There were three leop­ards in fact: a mother leop­ard was at­tempt­ing to shep­herd the squir­rels in the di­rec­tion of her two cubs, which were ly­ing in wait. At this mo­ment, the sun shone through the bush as the mother leop­ard watched a squir­rel es­cape up a tree.

HOW? Nikon D3S, 200 – 400 mm lens, shut­ter speed 1/2 000 sec­ond, aper­ture f4, ISO 1 000.

HANNES LOCHNER Or­der his new book at plan­e­toka­van­go­b­ook.co.za

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